Exposing online dating lies with burritos

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It started as a April Fools’ Day Prank but it may have exposed something they never talk about online dating. The truth that the matching algorithms are actually rubbish

Almost every major dating site (including several Burrit-oh took a swipe at in a press release) touts the importance of sophisticated matching algorithms. They’re praised as the most effective way to pair people based on some “deeper” measure of interests or personality that guarantee “real” compatibility.

But Burrit-oh? Well, it’s anything but sophisticated. The algorithm is as basic as it gets, and it’s built on the flimsiest of foundations, and yet… users are still hitting it off. This supports the finding, long promoted by social scientists, that matching algorithms aren’t really science – they’re just good marketing. Behold, the unbeatable power of the burritos.

Burrit-oh, exposes the fact that once you connect people around something (burritos, beards, film tastes, journey to work, type of phone, almost anything) they find interesting (social object style). The chances they will fall for each other; birthday paradox style as much as the custom expensive algoithms. Aka those custom algorithms most of the dating sites go on about so much is bollox and what are you paying?

Is a truly blind date a real thing?

Blind Date 2

Mr30notsoflirty recently wrote about The magic of a blind date, which I had some thoughts about. Too many to put in a tweet.

These days, blind dates have become a rare commodity. In an age of social media, it’s so easy to share a photo or run a little background check on Google or Facebook. You can’t even search on Tinder without judging someone based on your so-called FB friends.

A truly blind date has become an endangered species… you actually have to try hard to maintain that mystique, that surprise, the opportunity to meet someone you know nothing about…. with no judgments or preconceptions, just the excitement of the unknown.

I read this and laughed a little, only because I was about to go one hell of a first date. No idea who she was where she was from or anything. However I do get mr30’s main point, it’s easy and very tempting to Google the person. I mean why wouldn’t you? Knowledge is power right?

Yes its power but it certainly encourages creeping thoughts too.

There have been women who have googled me, as I tend to use cubicgarden for most things.

I tend to prefer the this me, love me or hate me; although I totally understand identity is fluid and in certain contexts you may want to adopt a different identity.

Anyway sometimes I find out they have made up their mind on something they have read. No chance to reply just see you later. It’s a shame for them really; this is why I’m a little more flexible about these things. Heck I have ignored somethings as I don’t want to judge too harshly, giving the other person a chance at least. I know most people are not like me. That’s why I’m sympathetic to what Mr 30 has written.

Serendipity is great (it makes us so feel alive, even if we are living it through others I guess) and that’s what makes blind dates exciting.

I’m hearing Mr 30, but question how blind the dates are there is a someone/something doing some filtering and matching on something. Even if random, each person usually want to know why they should go along. Even if it’s the verbal/written equivalent of “she/he/they are perfect for you.” (I could delve into the match maker expert/algorithms problem but won’t today).

Can you imagine, the opposite? “Well she/he/they are a random single person, it could work?” No neither can I…!

I once went on a first date purely on the notion the woman needed to fulfill a dating quota for a wager. Never met her before, never ever heard of her… But it was the connection with the sister, which I had met before; which had me convicted. Any member of this family must be worth a first date. And no I didn’t Google her… I should put that date up on dating yarns.

Was it truly/totally blind? Well I guess, most would say yes but there’s always something connecting or a relation. How strong that is dependant on the threshold of the people/end points. If we are talking about truly blind then that threshold needs to be zero… ha! Now that would be interesting. Although I know friends who have contacted people on OKCupid with the highest enemy percentage for kicks and giggles.

I contest, there never was truly blind dates, there’s always something which connects you. it’s just hope low your threshold can handle.

The BBC horizon dating experiment

Horizon dating 2015-09-12
My scientific perfect match

The Horizon episode: How to find love online just aired and here’s a blog I wrote straight after filming for the show. I have no idea what just happened or if I’ll even be involved, but judging by whats been seen so far, it looks like I might be. I trust BBC Horizon have done everybody proud but he’s my view on what happened that afternoon in central London.

I’m writing this the morning after the BBC Horizon dating experiment in central London (Sunday 13th September 2015).

We were asked and signed a contract saying we wouldn’t talk about the programme till the TX (TV transmission date). However the programme should have gone out by now.

It was an interesting time and the experiments were quite good too. From what I gather on the day, Hannah Fry wrote an algorithm to match people and Xander? I heard Xander is going on 3 dates today (day after the experiment). With the algorithm, she (Hannah) needed a large pool of people to match him with but also she wanted to see if it worked for other people. Hence the afternoon-evening of Horizon dating (I’m sure this will change).

Ok being brief (very hard for me). We were divided into 4 groups using colour wrist bands, then did some rough speed dating (I say rough because it there was no real flow, no direction and we were kind of left to get on with it, with the occasional call to change).

The four groups were…

  1. Told everybody in the group was matched and we actually were (this was my group – Yellow)
  2. Told everybody in the group was matched but that was actually was a lie
  3. Told no body in the group was matched but actually everybody was
  4. Told no body was matched and no body actually was (control group?)

You can see how this all works right?

The results were actually quite good and seemed to go with the algorithm and the priming of what were somewhat told. Hannah seemed confident it might actually work beyond this stage.

There was another test but to be honest, I got pulled away to do some stuff in a back room to the waiting camera about online dating. So much I wanted to say, but was told to keep it brief and look directly down the lens of the camera (hate that). Anyway I briefly touched on things related to my experiences and observations, should be interesting enough.

After some finger food and lots of chatting with various people, the results were announced to the room. They were cavatted with the notion, it was getting most matches in the room rather than most ideal matches.

Regardless, our usernames were read out and we stuck our hands up to show pairings.

My match was a woman who I had speed dated earlier but thought we didn’t really get on because of my lack of knowledge about the smiths. Can I remember her username? Nope, but we did take a couple selfie on both our phones.

After the matching, were had the opportunity to spend time together just chatting away and some quick interviews from Zander and Hannah.

Weirdly enough, my match lived in Bristol, had lived less than a mile away about the same time I lived in Croydon, London and shared similar views on certain things. Of course the location stuff  is a coincidence, as there was nothing in the questionnaire about previous locations, etc. But interesting one regardless.

We chatted away then we talked about circumstances currently. I wrongly guessed her age and it turned out we were quite distant on age and places in our lives. She had 3 kids, while I’m obviously child-free. It was clear the algorithm did work but only on the matching part, but did not factor in all the other things like looks, circumstance, desires, etc. The stuff which is unquantifiable?

End of the night, she left and we said goodbye while a bunch of us went to the Yorkshire Grey pub (George would be so proud) to discuss and carry on into the night. It was a warm night, so we sat outside on the benches, telling dating stories to each other. It was an nice end to the evening.

The last lot of the Horizon dating event

Everybody I spoke to had a good time they also had some good and bad stories about dating in recent times. The matches were somewhat hit and miss. Some numbers were exchanged but to be honest I think there will be maybe one or two who actually carry it further than a date or two (which still means Hannah’s algorithm would beat the year of making love!) . My match I’m unlikely to meet again, we didn’t swap anything and the pleasantries at the end of the night said it all. The initial excitement just seemed to break down once we discovered the difference in lifestyle, age and place in life.

Over drinks much later, a couple of us stayed out till about 1am. mr30notsoflirty, asked me if there were others I was interested in. I said yes and funny enough she was in my speed dating round, which meant she was likely matched quite highly with myself (remember I was in the one which was matched and were told so). I got a hint there might be some actually similarity in outlook earlier on but then got pulled away to do the pieces to the camera. There was another lady who stayed out later but had to get a train back to Kent, who was quite intriguing asking lots of questions about the scientific nature of everything, especially when I mentioned my geekness for dating. At the market place bar, we talked briefly and she said the comment of the night.

“You smell really good…!”

“well thank you” I said in return with a puzzled look on my face

Over all, it was intriguing and I’m happy to say Horizon did me and the BBC proud. It was pretty fluid, they seemed to get lots of footage (which I wish they would talk to BBC R&D about, as each couple have a interesting tale or two I’m sure). Met some lovely people and  my fears of the Year of making love were ironed out with the small contained venue, good people and a professional but friendly crew.

Just hope this is reflected in the show when it went live…

Update…

There’s a iWonder guide related to the programme (BBC iplayer).

On watching the programme, I was surprised how much of the vox pops from me made it into the programme. The show was mainly about Xander and the challenge of getting him a decent match. But it was clearly me on screen…

In the end, it was stalemate between the matching algorithm and random choice, which was a good conclusion I felt. Makes you think as you sink money and time into online dating, right? Also summing up why I find this area so interesting.

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A couple of things interested me, Helen Fisher and Lucy Brown‘s theory sounds interesting but once again where’s the paper or study? Prof Eli Finkel is absolutely right its somewhat rubbish and theres lots of papers proving it, even OKcupid’s OKtrends blog (and the deepend blog) doesn’t go into enough detail or give up the data for others to pull apart themselves. Xander was also wrong to say he was skeptical of algorthims, it was the premise which he wasn’t happy with. Even Hannah at one point said she wasn’t sure about the data which drives the algorthim she wrote.

I have already publiclly said it just doesn’t add up and the number element looms large. Hence why I chalked it up to the birthday paradox after much thought.

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While watching the show, my twitter and facebook was pretty busy, so busy I had to watch it again on iplayer. But some things came up which I wanted to reply to…

Xander and Hannah! Yeah they were very comfortable with each other, a few of us kept saying surely the two should get a room? But we all knew Hannah was happily married, but was so strange that Xander finally met a woman who from the back looked like a shorter version of Hannah. I actually thought it was her at first glance. Then I remember talking to some of the guys on the day, saying how she was very attractive.

During the show there was some comments about the lack of sexual diversity,  and I wanted to say, yes most were straight but there were a few gay couples too. The cameras missed a lot on that day but thats TV for you. There was also a diverse age range from quite young right up to much older than myself. Culturally it was quite diverse also, the BBC certainly did a good job and its important to once again say what you saw on screen wasn’t just it.

As a whole it was good and enjoyable, BBC Horizon did a good job touching on aspects of online dating problems and joys. Even down to Xander’s text exchange at the end of the programme. The whole worrying about what to say how long it takes for someone to come back to you is a real drama in modern dating. Although I do feel for the woman who went on the date with Xander because shes going to get a lot of angry women looking for her now…

Massive thanks to, Rachel Clarke I may have missed this great opportunity if she didn’t tweet me ages ago.

Can the enlighten people step forward?

There’s a lot of things which wind me up but I was shaking my head knowing it was true when reading the study about men being intimated by smart women. It had originally came from Facebook via Anina.

…these studies found that when men imagined a hypothetical woman who was smarter than them, or only knew of the woman in an abstract sense, they were interested in meeting or possibly dating her. Apparently, a smart woman is great in theory but not in practice.

…the men who were partnered with a woman who scored higher on the intelligence test felt the need to physically distance themselves from her when moving their chairs. They also tended to rate the woman as less attractive and datable than the men who interacted with a woman and scored worse than they did.

I tried to fault in the study but honestly its pretty clear on the face of it. Deep in thought thinking about my experiences of how men are crapbrushes with the pickup artists and of course being called a traitor to the male race. I can’t help but feel this type of legacy nonsense is what is holding back the human race. It’s not just this but also who pays on the first date, the height of women, who earns more and even more crap I can’t bring myself to even describe on my blog. It’s all so flipping sad, that this legacy still exists in 2016!

I like to hope there are even more smart women for us enlighten men but I know it’s never that simple.

smart-

In another post which I was reading about the redpill and manosphere, its easy to think every man wants to be the alpha.

Socially dominant. Somebody who displays high value, or traits that are sexually attractive to women.

Most of the postings refer to being the alpha not the beta. For example from the same post.

AF/BB – Alpha Fucks/Beta Bucks. AF/BB, as an idea, is closely related to AWALT (“All Women Are Like That”). All women, in this argument, divide men into two types: alpha males they want to fuck, and beta males they use for financial and emotional support in exchange for sex.

Really?!

It’s this nonsense which bugs the hell out of me on many different levels. All women want alphas, the betas are suckers and you need to be alphas to stand a chance. Do me a flipping favor, what a load of mashed up crap. Now I could argue on ideological and humanity grounds but I’ve tried that and failed to convince my intrenched male pals. So I’m going to try the diversity of thought option.

The biggest problem with all this is (AWALT) all women are like this and (AMALT) all men are like this. Is that there not, yes there might be a large population which are like this but I bet you those stereotypes are dying out quicker than you think. People are finding themselves and are less bound by the norms defined by the previous generation/society.

For example, gay, lesbian and bi people can be much more open than previously (don’t get me wrong, it’s a long way from the idealistic utopian dream in some parts of this country, let alone other parts of the world). But there is no longer a need to hide in the wardrobe/shadows. People are expressing a different more realistic/enlighten view on the world around them and ultimately that is changing things quicker than previously. Also worth saying non-monogamous relationships seem to have increased (or at least become more public). Like wise there’s less hiding in the shadows.

When I attended the event in Manchester with Rosie Wilby, I was actually slightly worried about talking about openly afterwards because it may crush certain friends world view. I could imagine myself talking about the event in detail and upsetting someone in the process.

Going all the way back to the top of the blog, what if smarter women actually preferred less smart men? What would people make of that scenario? It quite a different take eh?

Ultimately attitudes are changing and becoming more diverse, this is a good thing! It’s not good enough to jump to lazy stereotypes. Yes I understand this messes with your view on the world and makes binary answers a thing of a bygone era – Its time to get use to it! People are messy and the world is messy. No matter what Zuckerberg thinks or imposes (yes that is the right word) on a large number of internet users.

I am personally trying to use gender neutral pronouns. So less saying guys and more people. It’s a tiny thing but it all adds up and ultimately may have a positive effect of making others reconsider their own language.

Recently I was asked about my deal breakers, and I said one was old fashioned thinking. It seems harmless at first but I honestly think its holding back real progress and it needs to die/end. I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn from the past but trying to hold on to the past, has conquences like the results we see in the test.

Updated following the artist known as Prince’s death

It was Rebecca’s Facebook where I found the piece from the Guardian about Prince. I felt it was super relevent to what I was trying to say previously in this blog. Prince broke all the rules about what black American men should be

Prince repelled and fascinated me because he represented every side of all the contradictions I felt. I felt nervous even looking at him, and yet I couldn’t look away. What would it mean if I opened myself up to the letting go of all those rules he seemed to have dispensed with? That purple clothing, those high heels and ruffled shirts: was he proudly feminine, or so secure in his masculinity he didn’t mind others questioning it? That small frame and that tight, small butt that seemed to leave him “shaking that ass, shaking that ass” for men and women alike?

I remember when I was young having a discussions about sexuality through the paradox known as Prince. Never a dull moment and I even had the joy of visiting Minneapolis and going to First Avenue, prince’s club in purple rain.

Wow and what a club!

First Avenue, Minneapolis

Prince was so ahead of me in my own understanding of what it means to be black in this country, to have a sexuality and gender expression at odds with the white men who try to tell everyone else how to behave – and to embrace what is amorphous, not easily categorized, beautiful, and yet unknown.

Fitting I feel…

BBC Horizon explores how to find love online

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Its weird how things all seem to happen at once… First my TEDxManchester talk, then a chance enounter on BBC News 24 Live stream with LJ Rich, then me and Kate’s listening project recording is edited for Radio4. Now the BBC Horizon documentary about finding love online.

They were nice enough to tell us this afternoon via email, but I wasn’t sure I could blog it (nothing on their programme page or facebook page either) till I found it in the Radiotimes.

Update – The programme information page is up.

The internet has transformed every part of our lives and is now changing arguably the most important – our love lives. Internet dating is a cultural phenomenon and is now the second most common way that couples meet. But what is the best way to make the online search for love successful? What are the ‘matchmaking’ algorithms that the big companies use? Do they really deliver the goods, is it really clever marketing and actually a giant con – is there really any science?

Funny enough Mr30notsoflirty and Maren I met through the show filming (as you will find out soon, in a post I wrote straight after the filming). We were talking about the trailer on twitter, and Mr30 said he spotted, Mr30 and some other people. I watched a couple times and spotted myself! Scary stuff!

BBC Horizon dating experiment

So look out on Monday 25th April at 9pm – 10pm on BBC Two. It will be fancinating to see how its all crafted into a hour show and how much success they have in the matches compared to the Birthday paradox.

Hannah Fry the pressure is on…!

Are you sitting comfortably?

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In the continuing saga of undressed. I had an interesting awakening while waiting for my audition on Wednesday morning. They were very late but finally got hold of me on Skype.

During the Skype text conversation, I was asked if I was somewhere private. I was thinking this is an odd question? Then they said…

Just a reminder – we are doing these skypes in underwear

They might as well have said…

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

To be honest I was very surprised (actually quite shocked), same as I was when the researcher called me back and told me the show involved being undressed physically not by the 36 probing love questions alone, as I had taken it.

Yes so I was wrong again and although I thought they were joking, it became clear it wasn’t. I had a decision to make, go forward or drop out. I went ahead with it, but I was thinking boy oh boy if this is some kind of sextortion scam, I’m in deep!

To be fair it makes a little sense, because it was an audition and I assume in the physical auditions it would be the same. Don’t get me wrong it was bloody weird having them fully clothed watching me on a webcam!

People I described this to, have asked

Why? why are you doing this madness?

A while ago I was listening to someone talking about how they were planning to climb something insane in the middle of nowhere. I thought about it and on reflection, I now feel some people challenge themselves physically (climbing mountains, tall buildings, running across busy roads, etc), some mentally and I guess for me socially?

I’m not putting myself in danger from my view and it is a good yarn (lumbs law). Yes I guess being on TV in my underwear does come with some reputation damage? But I’m not about to run down the gym, I’m just me and I’m happy in my own skin with that.

It reminds me of when I went to the Japanese onsen (温泉) in Tokyo Dome over night. Going naked in front of a bunch of japanese business men I’ve never met before was crazy but I did it. Wearing underwear seems a lot more acceptable at least. Plus frankly if you seen me swim or about to go to sleep… it’s not much different?

The drive to push my limits socially, is fun to me. Don’t get me wrong its also slightly terrifying but like standing at the top of a mountain, its certainly exciting and takes a certain person to do so.

Video: Dating Against Humanity – #tedxmcr

My Dating Against Humanity video is now up on Youtube. Enjoy… Sure I’ll get some very mixed feedback from people.

Background information about the focus of the slides is here in the notes.

I did wish they sorted out the aspect ratio on the slides, but otherwise its what I pretty much remember of the talk. Other TedxMCR talks are also up.

The book I mentioned is now the start of another blog called dating yarns.

Undressed and 36 questions later…

Remember those 36 questions? The ones I referred to in the stop following stupid dating steps, get some advice blog post a while ago. Mandy Len Catron’s essay, has spun out a lot of takes but recently a friend pointed me towards a experiment involving the exact same 36 questions.

Here’s the complete list.

  1. If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be?
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
  13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  16. What do you value most in a friendship?
  17. What is your most treasured memory?
  18. What is your most terrible memory?
  19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  20. What does friendship mean to you?
  21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
  23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
  25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … ”
  26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … ”
  27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
  29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
  34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Then…  you have to look into your partner’s eyes for four minutes. In silence, just like the eye contact experiment.

So I’m thinking especially since being involved in the eye contact experiment and a few other things. Maybe it could be fancinating to do, but all the stuff I’ve seen is more for giggles and jokes, hence my reludance about the whole thing. What it sounds like you need, is something on the line?

Enter… Undressed a new show idea by RDF media.

TLC, the pay TV entertainment channel has commissioned UNDRESSED, an innovative and experimental dating show that sees two perfect strangers undress each other and climb into bed on a first date in an exciting new series that accelerates intimacy and explores the accepted rules of attraction.

Guess who decided to sign up?!?

Following Lumbs law“If there’s an opportunity to experience something which will make a great story and it won’t put you or somebody else in danger… you should do it

Yeah I know!

To be fair when I applied, I thought about it long and hard, especially with my previous experiences. But didn’t really take into consideration the fact of being half naked on TV. I hadn’t looked it up till now. The Italian version is on youtube

Its very intimate, but my worries about it being trashy is slightly relaxed at least. Althought the press have had a field day with it all.

The couple have 30 minutes alone together wearing nothing but their underwear, during which they will be given “probing” questions via a screen and tasks “designed to rapidly foster relationships”. Blimey – it makes First Dates look like the Antiques Roadshow

The Guardian

The unique dating show has already been a hit in Italy, where the contestants were often seen to be embarrassed when told to strip before throwing off their inhibitions along with their clothes.

Daily Mail

In my TedX Manchester orginal slide deck, I had a bit about accelerate intimacy. Well this is certainly accelarated! 30mins at Mach 1…

Celibacy, Intimacy and iffy smells of religion

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I haven’t written on the Single Black Male blog for a long while, but I still read and keep thinking about adding a different viewpoint on the subject in hand. The guys behind it are a good bunch and its always interesting reading the emails back/forth.

One such post recently spiked my interest. Is Celibate The New Single?

To which I say no… and then;

Have you ever had one of those intimate conversations that just could go on forever? You don’t even realize the hours that have flown by, but your cheeks hurt from smiling and you can’t stop blushing? You share parts of yourself in ways you hadn’t expected, or maybe even experienced. You feel truly known, and you truly know the person across from you: dreams, goals, loves, everything. You are known intimately – not known physically just yet – and even though you’re ready, you’re not in a rush. Imagine if this were the core of your relationship; this love you always express, and this lust you haven’t tapped into. Imagine being intimately and truly seduced, before having sex.

Yes… this is what I call intimacy, and it doesn’t need to be tied to sex.

Unfortunately the rest of the post talks/links in a load of celebrity couples I’ve never heard of. I couldn’t really care less about them but I think its misguided to call it celibacy.

These things all exist on a spectrum, including intimacy.

You can have physical intimacy, cognitive intimacy, activity intimacy and emotional intimacy. I’m sure there are more… I have a feeling there is tangible link with the 6 different types of love.

Interestingly

It’s 2016, and we may be in a new era of singledom. Actually, maybe it’s the old days of being single coming back around, full-circle. There’s something kind of poetic in knowing you have touched every part of a person’s soul before you’ve touched their body.

I get the cycle argument, I have even talked about the cycle back and forth within online dating between physical and mental. However, to the point of singletons, its always been there. People have found intimacy over the internet, via text, in the street, while at meetups, in many different ways. Its doesn’t sound sexy (pun intended) but it just happens.

Singletons are not subscribing to celibacy, they are doing what comes naturally by finding intimacy in different ways. Some find it through physical means, some through mental means. Little has changed, and if it has its certainly not because people have decided celibacy is the only option.

By knowing a person in every way but sexually, and saving that for last, the foundation of the relationship just seems stronger, more stable, almost even … sexier.

There is no right or wrong, its what works for you and the potential partner(s). If celibacy is that, then great. But to claim that the new celibacy is the new singletons is frankly ridiculous on so many levels.

There is a iffy smell of religion running through the single black male post. I know its American focus and it wouldn’t be the first time but I wanted to say, its great they highlighted things but the conclusion seems off the mark. Singletons are not

OkCupid founder on online dating…

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I almost choked on my coffee this morning at breakfast while reading what Christian Rudder – co-founder and former CEO of OkCupid, Harvard alumnus and author of Dataclysm. Wrote about the online dating industry…

Dating is rough. That’s why there are always so many dating startups: Because users of dating startups are always like, ‘God, this thing is broken, I’m going to fix it.’ What they don’t realize is that dating itself is the thing that’s kind of horrible and no app is ever going to fix that.

Interesting take on the problems related to online dating… although I still think the dating industry is endemiclily corrupt. Dating is very rough, I agree but I think its over shadowed by the lies and false promises of the industry which capitalise on this. Of course this is what I think but… I’d love to ask Christian directly what he thinks?

Horizon’s How to find love online, coming in summer

Thanks to Mr30notsoflirty for the tweet pointing at the new Horizon line coming soon to BBC Two.

Interestingly… I thought they would push for a valentine date. But the love online is in the second half of the line up, meaning  you will have to wait for June or July. Of course I can’t say anything but you can look some of the run up.

Unfortunately I can’t see the video because I’m currently outside the UK and my proxy isn’t working as expected at the moment over this slower connection in Lagos, Portugal. But I gather it includes scenes of people I will know quite well… So instead here is the summary from the site.

How To Find Love Online
The internet has transformed every part of our lives and is now changing arguably the most important – our love lives. Internet dating is a cultural phenomenon and is now the second most common way that couples meet. But what is the best way to make the online search for love successful? What are the ‘matchmaking’ algorithms that the big companies use? Do they really deliver the goods, is it really clever marketing and actually a giant con – is there really any science?

Dr Hannah Fry studies patterns in human behaviour and has been studying the underlying algorithms that power internet dating sites. Dr Xand Van Tulleken is single and looking for love and, with help from Hannah, he experiences the world of online dating, from creating the perfect profile to looking at the biological basis of love.

Updated: Dating against humanity dating talk with notes

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

I updated my presentation with notes or rather a little commentary inside the notes of what I’m thinking about in the slide; for example…

serialdater?

You can look at the slide and think, bit of serial dater? Really? Well here’s the background to my thoughts on that slide…

The word serial dater always conjures up visions of players, so I kind of prefered ethical dater. Because although I dated more than most typical people, it was a great chance to make friends and go to new places.

So here is the full breakdown of my thoughts on google slides or slideshare.

Enjoy! Next time will be the actual video, which I have actually seen, its pretty good and entertaining.

6 Words to describe different types of Love

Macchiato love

I had always thought and stood by the idea that love is wider than the romantic love we are sold growing up in a western society. It wasn’t till I went to Laura Gordon‘s Dream Builders #4: Love Actually event, that I learned about the 6 words the greek use to describe love.

From what people at the event were saying,  it was bounded around on twitter on valentine day but I guess I was too busy at TedxManchester to see it.

So the 6 words are…

  • Eros, or sexual passion
  • Philia, or deep friendship
  • Ludus, or playful love
  • Agape, or love for everyone
  • Pragma, or long-standing love
  • Philautia, or love of the self

There was discussion about the need for all 6 in different ways and of course how we are sold the idea that love is Eros; especially in western society. I had never really heard the terms and it reflects on my own thoughts and what certain people say to me about my own love life.

People have commented that maybe the reason why I don’t need/can afford to be so picky, is because I  fill my time with the company of other friends. For some reason the percentage of female friends is higher than most men I know too. Don’t ask me why, but I have thoughts (for another blog post maybe)

This isn’t that blog post but in reflection on the 6 types of love, theres a whole lot of Philia and Agape in my life. This is also why I don’t necessarily feel like I’m missing something in my life.

Treasure those conversations with friends

I’m carving out something unique by spreading some love around by sharing my reality with friends and family, you only have to look at the amount of parties, BBQs, etc I do and have done. My hope is I’ll share it with someone who understands and loves the way I view the  world.

 

My Tedxmcr talk: Dating against humanity

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

Would you date this man?
Would you date a 36 year old divorcee who is a left-leaning feminist and self confessed geek?

…a game in which nice single people are roped into a horrible game with others, resulting in cognitive overload, shocking manners, narcissism, algorithmic prejudice, financial loss and decisions based purely on appearances.

I’m just back from TedxManchester which was at homemcr, where I gave a presentation about onlne dating and some of the things I’ve observed about it. I believe I’m the first person to publicilly ask for a date from a Tedx stage.

It went well but I did have to speed up at the end, which did mean loosing some of my connecting points.

Maybe I’ll do a full breakdown of my thoughts but for now here’s some of the higher level ones.

  • Online dating sites and services are fundimentally in conflict with the goals of its customers.
  • There is too much evidence suggesting that online dating sites are unlikely to do what they say they do.
  • Online dating services are using gamification to prolong attention to collect even more data and make the service addictive
  • I believe the birthday paradox is a good reason why regardless of what dating sites do, there will be people who will pair off
  • Meetup, brisklr and other niche services which bring people together should have equal amount of successful connections as the likes of the big dating sites. They just don’t shout about it like the rest.
  • You shouldn’t let the tools dictate how you conduct yourself online.

Great TedX once again by Herb Kim and the thinking digital crew.

It was so apt, giving such a talk on valentines day…

I’ll write a review of the other great talks in a few days time, but I wanted to post up the slides as so many people have asked me about them.

Love and romance predicted for TEDx Manchester 2016

#datenight #lbloggers #lbloggersuk #westmovie #cinemanight" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/queenieandthedew/18626276980/">First date night in ages with @frankhamilton79. Dinner and a movie at @homemcr. Saw a brill German movie called West. Very happy girl :) <a rel=#datenight #lbloggers #lbloggersuk #westmovie #cinemanight" width="500" height="500" />

February 14th is always known for valentines day, well this year get yourself down to Homemcr. How can you get more romantic? Don’t worry I’ll make sure there is enough love for everybody…

TEDxManchester is back, and it would be fair to say I’m involved after talking at TedxManchester2 and arranging TEDxManchester originally with a bunch of great collaborators in 2009!

TEDx events were created in the spirit of  the TED conferences’ mission: ‘ideas worth spreading’. They are  designed to give communities, organisations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at a local level. TEDx events are a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of events popping up from San Francisco to Sydney. Following on from the first TEDxManchester in 2009 at the BBC, and subsequent editions at Cornerhouse and University of Manchester Student Union, we’re excited to have the first HOME edition of TEDxManchester in 2016!

Tickets go live on the 14th January